8 Plant-Based Proteins You Should Be Eating For Weight Loss & Lower Cholesterol

Avatar By Alexa Sooter | 7 October 2019 1639 views
high protein vegetables

These Delicious High-Protein Veggies Are The Perfect Addition To Any Meal

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When you think of protein, you probably think of animal products. Meat, eggs, milk, and cheese are often touted as the best sources of protein.

And, for some people, they are. But if animal products aren’t on your grocery list no matter the reason there are several plant-based options to help you get the protein you need.

In fact, some of the most common produce in your local grocery store offers a surprising amount of protein. Things like spinach, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts all give your meals the perfect protein boost.

Other options, like lentils or tempeh, might be less familiar. But they are no less delicious or beneficial!

1) Potatoes

Potatoes are usually filed solidly under the category of “carbohydrates.” But that doesn’t do these fantastic roots justice. An average-sized baked potato offers 8 grams of protein, on average.

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Of course, the potato is only as healthy as what you put on it. That can mean a lot of things, depending on your personal dietary restrictions.

But that’s another beautiful thing about potatoes. They are so versatile, you’re bound to find a combination of toppings that match your needs so you can fully enjoy a potato’s protein.

2) Green Peas & Sugar Snap Peas

While we’re on the topic of things that go well with potatoes, green peas are another great source of protein. Half a cup of cooked green peas yields 4 grams of protein. That might sound like a lot of peas on paper, but keep in mind that a half cup is a handful, maybe two.

Peas are almost as versatile as potatoes. You can add them to salads or wraps, or use them in casseroles. And, of course, split pea soup is always a tasty meal.

Since green peas are high in protein, it should come as no surprise that their cousins are as well.

You’ve probably seen sugar snap peas on veggie trays at countless parties. And while most people reach for the carrots or tomatoes, those looking to score 5 grams of protein per cup should be reaching for snap peas.

But veggie trays are not the only way you can enjoy these sweet little morsels. They are fantastic in just about any stir fry. With their light flavor and crisp texture, they pair well with most seasonings.

3) Spinach

In the same vein as green peas and sugar snap peas, spinach is another protein-packed green veggie.

Unlike the others, you’ll have to cook your spinach before you can access most of the protein it contains. Thankfully, the days of stringy canned spinach are long behind you!

You can add spinach to the stir fry linked above. Or you can add it to a delicious lasagna.

As long as the spinach is cooked, you’re looking at 3 grams of protein per half cup, no matter what you add it to.

4) Brussels Sprouts

Like spinach, Brussels sprouts have long gotten a bad rap. But these often-maligned veggies are actually loaded with protein. A half cup yields 2 grams of protein.

And while that might not be as much as the other veggies on this list, it’s nothing to sneer at!

You might not currently be fond of Brussels sprouts… but there’s a good chance you just haven’t found a version you like yet.

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Some people prefer them chopped raw and added to delicious salads. This option, of course, gives you the chance to add other high-protein foods to the mix as well.

If I may get personal for a moment, however, might I suggest you try them baked? My family loves to slice these tiny cabbages in half, then toss them in a mixture of Nature’s Seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Then we spread them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes or until tender.

5) Mushrooms

There are a wide variety of mushrooms. But if you’re looking for a protein boost, you should reach for white or portobello mushrooms.

White mushrooms offer 3.5 grams per cup and portobello mushrooms pack in 4 grams. Crimini mushrooms are also high in protein 3 grams per cup but white mushrooms and portobellos both have crimini beat.

Mushrooms might not be a common ingredient for you yet. But don’t let that stop you from experimenting with them!

Mushrooms are delicious sauteed in butter and garlic. Or you can add them to soup with potatoes and a few other protein-packed foods if you’re looking for a super boost!

6) Lentils

Lentils are the first food on this list with a protein content per cup that’s in the double digits. A cup of cooked lentils offers a whopping 18 grams of protein. That’s a little over half the protein found in a cup of chicken!

Unless lentils are already part of your diet, you might not know how to prepare them. Of course, lentil soup is always popular.

But don’t stop there! Lentils can be prepared in a variety of ways. You just have to give them a chance, and they can knock your protein needs out of the park.

7) Soy

Every vegetarian knows that soy is a great source for non-animal protein. It packs in an amazing 22 grams per cup.

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Unfortunately, soy has been getting a bit of a rough reputation lately. But the most recent studies indicate that soy’s negative benefits come more from the type of soy you eat… rather than from soy itself.

Tofu is the easiest way to add more soy to your diet. It is readily available in most grocery stores and cooks up quickly.

You might have to experiment to find the best method for you. But, once you find it, you’re sure to make tofu one of your go-tos for your protein needs. Just be sure it doesn’t interact with any medications you may be taking.

8) Tempeh

Tempeh is technically a form of soy. But because it is fermented, it is functionally a different food from tofu and whole soybeans.

And in part thanks to the fermentation process… it contains even more protein. 31 grams per cup, to be exact!

If you’ve never prepared tempeh before, it can seem a bit daunting. But don’t let that stop you!

With a few quick tutorials, you’ll be whipping up delicious dishes in no time. Tempeh stir fry is a great option. Or, if you’re in the mood for a burger, you might want to give this tempeh and black bean patty a try.

The Takeaway

Animal products might be the most common protein source… but some plants pack a real protein punch, too!

And you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy the great plant-based foods on this list. Perhaps you’ve discovered an allergy to eggs or chicken. Or maybe your doctor wants you to cut down on animal products.

Or, just maybe, you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your veggie intake.

After all, research has shown that eating more plants… and less meats and other animal products… can have real benefits for your health. 

A plant-based diet can lower your cholesterol… lower your blood pressure… and decrease your risk of heart disease.

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No matter the reason you’re looking at plant-based protein sources, this list has you covered. From meat-like replacements such as tempeh to great additions for any meal, like spinach, you have a wide variety of options.

All it takes is a little bit of experimentation… and in no time, your meals will be deliciously protein-packed.

 

high protein vegetables

How These Plant-Based Proteins Can Supercharge Your Weight Loss

These vegetable-based proteins are great because not only are they good for your heart…

They’ll help you lose weight, too!

That’s because studies have shown that when you boost your protein intake by 15-30%… you end up burning 441 more calories over the course of the day!

(I know burn more fat just by eating more? I’m in heaven!)

And while it’s a great tip to implement on its own… 

When you combine eating more protein with these 2 other “passive” weight loss tips… 

The pounds just melt right off.

Much like “eat more protein,” they’re simple little tricks you can do before you go to bed… that supercharge your metabolism… and help you burn more fat.

Here’s what they are… and how you can start doing them tonight to start losing more weight right away:

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